K-Recipe: Rainy Days Calls for Gamja-Jeon

by Larissa Tsui

The weather has been getting more chilly and rainy. This calls for pancakes! But I don’t mean the sweet and fluffy pancakes we usually eat for breakfast, but the Korean ones called jeon (전, pancake). Jeon are savoury and fried in oil to get that crispy goodness. Koreans have this thing where rainy days make them think of jeon. Let me explain to you the reason why rainy days call for this particular food. Firstly, do you know why we get more moody and low on rainy days? 🌧 The decrease in sunlight actually decreases our serotonin (happy hormone) production. The decreased serotonin production leads to an increased appetite and makes us want to eat more. And with the colder temperature, our bodies instinctively seek warm and high-calorie foods (= Carbs!) 🍔🍟🍕Secondly, the sizzling of the oil when frying jeon is incredibly similar to the sound of rain (90% match 😯). So, the similarity between the two sounds just naturally associates the two with each other!


With the temperature dropping lately, I find myself craving jeon too. And so, here is my favourite jeon recipe to warm your tummy and hearts. There are countless types of jeon, but my favourite is undoubtedly, gamja jeon (감자전), potato pancake 🥔💛 Gamja jeon is super simple but super satisfying. To make this, literally, all you need are potatoes! The simple and minimal recipe makes it a great snack. They have the perfect combination of a soft and chewy inside with a crispy outside 🤤  Originally, gamja jeon is made by grating potatoes, and then frying the grated potato in a pan but I’m going to share with you a hack to save you from the arm workout 😉 



 For the Gamja-jeon

2-4 Potatoes

½ Tbs Salt

2 cups Water

For the Dipping Sauce: 

3 Tbs Soy Sauce

1 Tbs Vinegar

1 Cheongyang pepper



  1. Peel the potatoes and chop them into smaller pieces.
  2. Blend the potatoes with water in a blender.
  3. Drain the blended potatoes in a fine strainer and let it sit for 10-15 minutes for the starch to settle. (The water mixture will separate into two layers of water and starch
  4. Carefully pour out and discard the water, keeping the bottom layer of starch.
  5. Combine the starch with water, salt and the ground potato and mix well.
  6. Add a generous amount of oil to a pan and pour the batter (your choice of size) onto the heated pan and cook over medium heat.
  7. Flip the potato jeon until both sides are golden brown.
For the sauce: 
  1. Thinly slice Cheongyang pepper
  2.  pepper.
  3. Combine the soy sauce, vinegar, Cheongyang pepper and mix.
Instagram | @the_is_kitchen
There you go! Gamja jeon is perfectly accompanied with dipping sauce, ideal for the cold weather. See how simple this dish is to make by watching the famous chef Baek Jong Won’s video here. As you can tell, an easy to follow recipe with not a lot of ingredients which I think makes it that much more yummy! The most important thing to keep in mind for this recipe is keeping the starch drained from the water. This is what gives the gamja jeon that wonderful chewy texture! But if you accidentally tip it out, no worries! Just use a tablespoon of potato starch instead. Just thinking about it makes my tummy rumble and I can’t wait to go home and make this for myself. And if you want an extra treat with this delicious recipe, gamja jeon goes super well with makgeolli, Korean rice wine (막걸리) 🤭

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